A young Black entrepreneur’s tireless work to combat food insecurity is paying off.

At age seven, Te’Lario Watkins II launched his business, Tiger Mushroom Farms in central Ohio, according to its website.

“The idea of Tiger Mushroom Farms began after I planted cat grass and basil seeds at my 1st Cub Scout meeting,” Watkins wrote. “I enjoyed watering MY plants and was eager to see their growth each day.”

He continued, “I began to wonder what else could I grow in Ohio in the wintertime. I remember reading a book about mushrooms. I told my parents and asked them about growing mushrooms. My parents bought me a mushroom kit…and the rest is history.”

Nearly nine years after launching Tiger Mushroom Farms and selling his mushrooms at local farmers markets in Columbus, OH, the 16-year-old also has his own nonprofit, according to ABC News. The Garden Club Project’s mission is to eliminate food deserts and motivate children to make healthier food choices.

ABC News reports that Watkins has been recognized for his work and selected to be in the Disney Dreamers Academy’s 2024 class. The four-day mentorship event provides 100 young visionaries from diverse communities “with the motivation, guidance and skills to help make those dreams come true,” per its website.

In addition to meeting with mentors and participating in career workshops, the youth have the opportunity to learn networking and interviewing skills, as well as receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations, and park tickets to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. 

During the Disney Dreamers Academy commencement ceremony hosted at Walt Disney World, Watkins had a surprise guest — “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John, according to the outlet. What’s more, the businessman offered Watkins a cool opportunity.

“I read your story,” John told Watkins. “I love how you’re trying to fight hunger in your community. I wanted to give you a little opportunity to come with me to ‘Shark Tank.'”

Watkins responded, “I’ll be available any time.”

As for Watkins’ overall career goal, he wants to “use technology to improve the food system in my community and communities around the world,” per his Disney Dreamers Academy profile.